Events: AMA 2016 Annual Conference
Oct 11, 2016
Last week, John, Erin, Simon and I braved Hurricane Matthew and the whirlwind tornado experience that is Orlando, Florida to attend The American Marketing Association’s (AMA) 2016 Annual Conference. It was a jam packed three [turned into four] days of learning and networking that left us motivated and inspired. For great conversation and coverage of the event, be sure to check out #AMAAnnual16.
Here are some of my/our favorite sessions, takeaways and Twitter musings:
Linda said so, so many things that stuck with me. One of the biggest was “you have to have freedom within a framework” when it comes to managing large, global teams and efforts. She detailed how this approach works at GE with corporate-set guidelines (the framework) that give local leaders the authority to execute on things such as social media and events in that market (with the freedom to do so in their own way). She said “sometimes transformation is about giving the right people the freedom to get things done.” That is so refreshing to hear from a brand that big and that established!
Linda also noted they’ve worked with one of their agency partners BBDO for 94 years. Ninety-four years. That is incredible! As a company that also values long-term client partnerships, we can certainly appreciate and admire this kind of relationship.
— Brittany Kotary (@Brit_Kotary) October 6, 2016
Erin also fan girl’ed over Linda with me and I wanted to share her perspective on the session, too:
Like Brit, I spent most of the keynote feverishly scribbling down nearly everything Linda said. This one quote really resonated with me (I’m slightly paraphrasing here but this is mostly correct) – “Trust the people you’ve hired, give them the freedom to make the right decisions and get the hell out of their way.” As a self-admitted control freak, and someone who is currently responsible for building and managing a team, it was a good reminder to me to continue to have faith in the team I’ve hired and allow them to push boundaries and experiment.
“Disruptive Innovation: Changing The Direction Of A Category With Coca-Cola Freestyle…A Few Lessons Learned.” – Chris Hellmann, Global Vice President and General Manager, Coca-Cola Freestyle Division
In this presentation, Chris talked about the need for innovation and discussed three different types:
- Incremental – adds value
- Transitional – a new approach, but not radical
- Disruptive – fundamentally changes the category
One of the ways that Coca Cola is implementing disruptive innovation is with Coca-Cola Freestyle machines (and not because kids are making up
disgusting innovative flavors by mixing as many as their parents will allow). Chris told us how people’s need for choice spurred the invention of the Freestyle idea and product. I was fascinated to learn that Coca-Cola actually monitors data from these machines to gleam insights on what type of beverages people reach for during certain times of the day along with preferred flavors by region. With this data they can make more informed promotion and purchasing decisions. That’s so cool!
Some of my favorite quotes from him:
- “The magic in our secret formula is marketing.” (Collective marketing industry hairflip)
- “Innovation needs to be rooted in value, otherwise it’s not worth it.”
- “Disruptive innovation is hard stuff.” (#Truth)
- “You have to have a culture that accepts new ideas and rewards new ways of thinking and doing things.”
“Do not innovate to be famous. Innovate to be relevant.” -Chris Hellmann, Global VP & GM, Coca- Cola, Freestyle Division #AMAAnnual16
— RAPP (@RAPP) October 6, 2016
“Winning in the New Normal: The Five Key Questions Marketers Should Be Asking Now” – Jim Lecinski, Vice President, Integrated Sales and Chief ZMOT Evangelist, Google (@JimLecinski)
Although Jim wasn’t able to make it to Orlando due to the weather, that didn’t deter him from giving a great presentation via Skype. His was actually one of two presentations I attended that was Skype’d in and they were both executed flawlessly. Thank you to the awesome AMA and hotel staff that kept us informed and connected throughout the entire week despite the weather!
Jim talked a lot about micro-moments and being agile enough to win the moments that matter, when it matters, citing Chevy’s tribute to Prince as a great example. He also discussed how it’s not enough to be a great marketer anymore; in this “new normal” we have to be great mobile marketers. Jim shared his five questions marketers should be asking now as we plan for 2017:
- Is digital embedded in your business?
- Are you there in moments that matter?
- Have you evolved data and measurement?
- Are you breaking channel boundaries?
- Are you fast, agile and thinking 10x?
Then he closed with this video from Google, and Erin and I may or may not have shed some tears.
— Brittany Kotary (@Brit_Kotary) October 6, 2016
“Content, Context & Connections: How to Succeed in Modern Marketing” – John Lane, Chief Strategy Officer, Centerline Digital (@johnvlane)
Hey, we know that dude! In all seriousness and with absolutely no bias, John’s session started a lot of great conversation around personas and “one size fits all” content creation. I have a feeling/insider knowledge that John will be sharing more around his thoughts on personas in the days to come, so make sure you’re connected to him and stay tuned! John talked us through some of (his favorite) content marketing examples from Marriott, Old Spice and Lowe’s and the difference between content re-use and pre-use planning.
How well do you know your audience? How sure are you that the content and experiences you’re putting valuable time and resources into are having the desired effect? To download John Lane’s presentation, click below.
— FaithChenita, MBA (@FaithChenita) October 7, 2016
Did you attend the conference in person or virtually (thanks a lot, Matthew)? What were your biggest takeaways? We’d love to hear ‘em!
A lifelong northerner, I began my career in agency public relations in Rochester, New York, later moving to New York City, working with a variety of technology and consumer brands from Xerox and IBM to Blackberry and KAYAK. I loved the fast-paced and entrepreneurial environment and learned so much about myself, client and people management, media relations and how to properly mail merge.
Now a relocated northerner and wannabe southerner, I still love the pace, people and spirit of agency life in Raleigh. As Centerline’s Communications Manager, I get to help amplify the amazing content that we produce as an agency and thought leaders through events, media placement, relationships with influencers and social media.